Should Formula One use reverse grids?

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Using reverse grids for F1 races is on the agenda at a crunch meeting of F1 chiefs in Geneva to set the rules for 2017.

Would putting the fast cars at the back make for more exciting F1 races – or are reverse grids just another gimmick grand prix racing doesn’t really need?


There is an appealing simplicity to the argument for reverse grids. Most races start with the quicker cars in front of slower ones which means there is little overtaking. To create more overtaking, put the faster cars behind the slower ones at the start.

It’s obvious that this would create an increase in overtaking. The performance difference between F1 cars is such that it’s impossible to imagine a Mercedes being stuck behind a Manor for any length of time.

There are already examples of how this can create memorable races. The 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, which culminated in Kimi Raikkonen overtaking Giancarlo Fisichella for victory on the final lap, was made great because rain during qualifying left several of the quickest drivers near the rear of the field.


Races like Suzuka 2005 were only great because they were unusual. If every race started with the fast cars at the back the novelty would quickly wear off.

Nor is it likely that, given the current state of F1, much excitement would be created from the overtaking. Instead we may merely see the slower cars let the faster ones through having been told not to destroy their tyres by needlessly holding up a car they are unlikely to finish ahead of – something which already happens.

It would likely have other undesirable effects too. Qualifying would become meaningless, reducing Saturday circuit attendance and television audiences. And it would be hard not to inadvertently create incentives for teams to deliberately under-perform or retire from races in order to secure a better starting position at the next round.

I say

Formula One has an unhealthy habit of seizing on a single rule change as the potential cure for all its problems. It’s not hard to imagine how it could make the same mistake with reverse grids that it has with other gimmicks like double points and DRS.

While some believe the subject of reverse grids has only been raised by Bernie Ecclestone as a negotiating tactic other publications such as Autosport have repeatedly pressed the case for it.

I have watched hundreds of reverse and part-reverse grid races in series like GP2, GP3 and touring cars and find it an artificial spectacle which produces less worthy winners. I thought it was very telling that when Rio Haryanto was signed by Manor many were quick to point out his three GP2 victories had all come from part-reversed grid spint races and therefore were not as impressive as if he’d won feature races where normal qualifying sessions are used.

While it’s one thing for minor championships to dabble with the idea, for F1 to embrace it in response to its plummeting viewing figures would be another sign of desperation which would probably turn off more long-term viewers than it would attract new ones.

Reverse grids would be yet another sticking-plaster solution when F1’s real problems lie elsewhere.

You say

Would you like to see reverse grids used to start F1 races? Or do you want F1 to continue with its current arrangement for deciding the starting grid?

Should F1 use reverse grids to create more overtaking?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • No: Do not use any kind of reverse grid (90%)
  • Yes: Use some other kind of reverse grid (4%)
  • Yes: Use the reverse finishing order from the previous race (2%)
  • Yes: Use reverse qualifying order (1%)
  • Yes: Use reverse championship order (2%)

Total Voters: 376

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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110 comments on “Should Formula One use reverse grids?”

  1. Well, so far it’s only 3 of us voting, but we are unanimously against reverse grids!

    1. Same after my vote which was the 22nd, seems we have a trend already.

      1. Qualify on pole = 25 points
        Start at the back
        Win the race = 25 points

        1. You are right.

    2. 31 votes so far, 31 votes against reverse grids…

      1. And 225 votes now, with 91% against reverse grids and only 8% in favor of them.

        It’s an awful gimmick that is also frankly downright dangerous in open-wheel racing. It’s a recipe for getting someone flicked up into the air as a slower car with a far less experienced driver cuts them off, followed by a major incident along the lines of Spa 1998 (but probably with cars moving faster, as Spa’s layout with a hard turn at La Source right after the start possibly prevented that from becoming a much worse incident.)

  2. “Okay (insert quick driver name here) we want you to qualify 10th today so tomorrow we start on pole..”

    1. Reverse Grids would be OK but we need flying starts otherwise the cars would fall off the track ;-)

  3. So in qualifying, the slower you go, the higher you are placed in grid. So instead of telling the driver to push, we’d here engineers saying, take it slow.

    1. Equal points would be for qualifying. Just grids would be reversed. The most points would be getting pole starting at the back and then winning it.

      1. I totally agree with you.

  4. Reverse grids are a bad idea for so many reasons but the number one reason for me would be safety.

    Imagine the fast guys at the back barrelling into the first corner with the slow inexperienced guys at the front. The start is already the most dangerous part of a Grand Prix, this would just make it worse.

    If the cars were more equal and lest aerodynamically sensitive there would be loads more overtaking and no need for silly DRS or reverse grid gimmicks.

    1. Safety??!! People say F1 is less exciting because F1 isn’t that dangerous anymore.

      Now, you come and say “Reverse grids are a bad idea for so many reasons but the number one reason for me would be safety.’

      What will FIA/FOM will do??

      1. No one with any common sense or grasp of reality says F1 is boring because it’s not dangerous enough.

        1. Exactly.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        23rd February 2016, 17:28

        @lautmotor – You have to admit though, having drivers qualify for their first ever race on the back of the grid and then having to lead the pack around and take the start from pole isn’t the cleverest idea….

    2. Because Hamilton and Vettel are too clumsy to navigate the first corner if there are more than one or two cars ahead of them? Of course not. It would be fine, just different.

      That doesn’t make it a good idea. F1 doesn’t need reverse grids, but rather for the other teams to stop being so bad and finally give Mercedes something to fight for.

    3. There should not be any “slow inexperienced drivers” in F1, it’s still a bad idea though.

  5. Radical change is always unpopular but rarely fails to produce at least some benefits.

    Let’s see how popular reg changes to allow closer racing suddenly becomes once Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull find themselves starting half the races in 10th. Imagine Alonso behind Petrov but over and over.

    1. Like DRS? Designed to degrade tyres? Double points? We can get them to drive with 3 wheels to mix it up a bit perhaps?

      F1 is lost precisely because it has used these gimmicks to ‘improve the show’. No doubt Flavio agrees with you, but I’m guessing not many others. Well, let’s see the vote.

      1. No doubt Flavio agrees with you

        Ouch, that was a low blow…

        1. Yes, sorry @gridlock. I was in one of those moods again!

  6. Absolutely positively no to reverse grids. It will only ever cause some drivers to deliberately qualify/finish poorly for tactical reasons, completely ruin the joys of qualifying and it is nothing more than yet another stupid gimmick which is not needed in Formula 1. I would like to think that the drivers would not be too fond of it either.

    Regardless, as we saw in 2014, Mercedes can start from the pit lane yet end up on the podium.

    1. Qualifying top 10 would give equal points as race finish top ten. Just the order in qualifying would be reversed on the starting grid. It’s not hard to understand. Pole= 25 points, start at back, win it is another 25 points.

  7. The only way I’d agree to reverse grids is if the following conditions were fullfilled:

    -The starting grid is decided by reverse championship positions. This way there aren’t qualifying shenanigans. Qualifying would obviously disappear. It’s not the end of the world, though. It could always be replaced by other events involving the F1 drivers (like a race in a spec car, it could even involve some GP2 drivers to raise the stakes).

    -Tyres need to be durable. As Keith says, otherwise the slower cars would just let the faster cars through because defending would only hurt their chances.

    -DRS needs to be removed. Otherwise the faster cars would just cut through the field like a hot knife through butter.

    Still, I’ll vote “No opinion”. While I would find it interesting, I know a huge majority would absolutely hate it. It just wouldn’t be worth it. I still think the strong correlation between starting positions and race pace is a big problem in current F1 (where reliability is good and qualifying setups don’t exist) but it probably could be fixed through less gimmicky, less hated changes.

    1. @casjo Good points. I would also freeze any in-season car development because otherwise it could hurt the small teams, who sometimes manage to build a decent car over the winter and score many points in the first races (like Sauber last year – Nasr was in front of Ricciardo and Kvyat in the standings) but then inevitably lose the development race.

  8. simple solution, fix the Aero issue so we don’t rely on “DRS only overtaking” & stop thinking a gimmick rule will solve everything.

    1. The problem is, it’s not simple to do that at all. As long as the cars rely on downforce through corners, then they will be disrupted by disturbed air from cars in front.

      In 2017 we will likely have faster speeds through the corners due to increased downforce, which means they will be even more susceptible to dirty air.

  9. I have watched hundreds of reverse and part-reverse grid races in series like GP2, GP3 and touring cars and find it an artificial spectacle which produces less worthy winners.

    An artificial spectacle best describes this absolute nonsensity of an idea. Who would imagine allowing people to shoot for their best finish and then send them to the back albeit a few places down? That it happens in other motor racing events does not mean it should be considered let alone adopted in Formula One.

    This is even worse than the double points rule – by a hundredfold.

    F1s problems are before Bernie and co i.e. money distribution, cutting Ferrari’s mega allowance for merely turning up to race, taking a scythe to the 1001 rule book instead of adding yet another unnecessary rule such as the reverse grid mentioned recently by Bernie.

  10. How about after qaully they randomly select two races only per year announced after positions âre known.
    That would shake things up

  11. Absolutely no.

    Also to add some more ways to game the rule: Hard to overtake circuits (Monaco, Catalunya) will be prime candidate to do shenanigans because it could be an easy win, especially when reverse grid means you actually required not to perform better than other people to get into the pole.

  12. No reverse grid!
    But! I’d love to offer another flavour: Qualifying Race on Sunday morning for 30-45minutes starting with a reverse grid from the last race! All the same tyre (durable so it can be punished for the full race).
    Saturday Free Practice day.
    And let’s forget about Friday; or have a few weekends with rookie testing, etc..

    1. @coldfly I hate the idea of double race especially on same day and they are basically the same race with the difference only name and points awarded (sprint/feature race? ugh). Granted your idea is different format from F1 main race, but I still don’t like it, especially since whoever got an accident there probably will be missing the main race altogether.

  13. Reverse grids are not the worst thing that could happen to F1 but I do not want them. DRS was at least a novelty in motor racing but using reverse grids would not only once again show that the decision makers cannot improve F1 without using gimmicks; it would expose complete lack of creativity, too.

    Also, different gimmicks can be relatively successful under certain conditions but they can also make things worse. If one team dominates the championship, then maybe it is not a bad idea to give someone else a chance to win a race as well. The WTCC has been a good example of that during the last years. But it does not always work like that. For instance, would it have been wise or fair to use reverse championship order in 2012 when Alonso was arguably in front of a driver in a better car in the standings? And how would using reverse qualifying order have improved the action in the first half of 2013 when Mercedes were usually stronger in qualifying than they were in the race?

    Long story short, reverse grids would be a desperate gamble. If F1 wants to attract more spectators on Saturday, then a qualifying race (without any championship points) sounds like a much better idea to me.

  14. Simple answer. HELL NO!

  15. Despite the utter unfeasablility of it, it would be kinda cool to have 3 / 4 sprint races a season, maybe with reverse grids

    1. I would love to have a couple of GP2 races per season, where the drivers all drive equal cars, no qualifying or mandatory pit stops, random grid, and 30 laps of flat out racing.

      Reverse grid however, would be atrocious for this sport.

  16. I don’t like reverse grids for the proper race on a Sunday, but why not have a sprint race on Saturday afternoons – half distance for half points. Grid positions drawn out of a hat in the first race of the season. In the second GP weekend you start the sprint race with the grid inverted from the first GP’s sprint race grid. Third one you draw again. Fourth sprint race grid would be the inverse of the third etc etc.

    Leave the main event on Sundays for the purists as it is, but sprint races with jumbled up grids would attract a lot of casual viewers who are currently turned off by the lack of action and overtaking, and the sheer predictability of the results.

  17. I don´t believe anybody actually considers this. It´s just a red herring for political goals in the 2017-rule-making, and I feel pretty sure some teams are deliberately sabotaging any possible agreement between the teams as they feel they´d be better off with rules made by the FIA.

  18. Were we calling for reversed grids in 2010 or 2012? In 2012, a season that saw half of the teams on the grid win a Grand Prix, was anyone calling for a readjustment of the weekend format?

    Attempting to fix F1’s two chronic syndromes, (1) a lack of wheel-to-wheel racing and (2) performance monopoly, with an altered weekend is like trying to get fit by taking the scenic route to a fridge full of ice cream. The dosage is not the problem, it’s the treatment. F1 needs genuine on-track racing and democratized performance, and that isn’t achieved by artificially putting faster cars in the pack, and by giving slower teams results earned by gimmicky regulations.

    1. @william-brierty – This, exactly. Qualifying and the race format is not what is broken. Don’t try to fix it!

  19. Reverse grids make sense only if they award substantial points for qualifying, so there’s an actual championship incentive to qualify first on Saturday. But even in that case, I’m against the idea because it’s just another unnecessary superficial solution which does not address any core issues within the sport.

  20. I remember being at the British GP during the Hill vs Schumacher years with the split qualifying format. Rain forecast for the end of qualifying for the quicker cars. They were all trying to be slower than everyone else to be one of the first cars out in the second session as the track would be dry.
    They already work to target or cut off times in Q1 and Q2 – I would expect the same to happen in this format.

    1. Are you sure it was in the Hill vs Schumacher years? I always thought that until 2003 drivers were free to choose when to run their qualifying laps.

  21. Should Formula One use reverse grids?

    Rio Haryanto: Yes

  22. I voted use some kind of reverse grid. I like the current weekend format but if they change anything i would like to see a saturday with qualy and then a sprint race with a partially reverse grid and awarding half points or 1/4 points. No podium, no champagne, no anthems.

    1. I see no poll?

      1. Yes to reverse grids it would make the show more entertaining seeing faster cars making their way through the field. It sures beat a Mercedes one two every time

  23. Are they trying to make an F1 winner out of Rio Haryanto? The grid’s not the problem, it’s the unsatisfying racing once they get going. Either do exactly what the voice in your ear says, or wait 3 laps then press the DRS button. Whatever you do, don’t try to pressurise or race the guy in front – it’s bad for your tyres.

    We already have a steaming pile of rules to give us mixed up grids. The knockout qualifying does it fairly regularly (but at least it’s enjoyable and not too false). Then there’s rewarding the midfield for not bring fast enough by giving them fresh tyres, and countless grid penalties of 5, 10, 3 or 30+ places…

  24. Reverse grids didn’t work at Silverstone 2004. This was back when there were two qualifying sessions. The first session was held at a time when the weather for the second session was predicted to get wetter as the session went on. This led to half the grid (and mostly the faster half) deliberately driving slowly to get the “lesser” grid slots. Not only did this look ridiculous even as it was happening (Ferrari apologised before Michael Schumacher returned to the pits, an unheard thing in Ferrari lore) but the second session was bone-dry throughout. So most of the fast people were at the back of the grid.

    The race? Was pretty much like other 2004 races – neither more nor less exciting (and with much of the excitement coming from natural causes, including the rise of drivers who were at the back through mechanical issues in qualifying and good performances from honest front-runners). Reverse grids don’t affect race quality if they weren’t arrived at through pure performance.

    Also, awarding a point for pole won’t solve the problem for a non-pole candidate (i.e. at least 18 of the 24 cars at any given race). And this is the most creative group of people in terms of tactics in all of European single-seater racing we discuss. If the desire is there to sandbag, they will find a way of doing it successfully no matter how clever the counter-sandbagging rules are. Even implementing anti-sandbag rules of the equivalent-of-losing-3-laps type IMSA’s just deployed against Lamborghini for sandbagging won’t put off F1 people from creative tactics to optimise points potential.

    A decade later, and nobody has yet proposed a way to solve the problems it displayed with the concept as applied in a non-natural way. (This distinct from natural mixed/reverse grids, which are invariably interesting and often offer the best racing in a season). Frankly, there’d be more chance of improved racing by simply moving qualifying to Sunday morning and putting on a “fun” event involving the F1 teams on Saturday afternoons.

  25. I’m curious how the Reverse Qualifying concept would work. Lewis, Nico and Seb going balls-out trying to start at the very back :)

    1. Ah okay Bernie would give points for qualifying at the back I see. He’d have to give up Monaco, so that would be a silver lining at least.

  26. I think there should be 2 races every weekend & grid positions should be randomized, it will be a lot more fun… :)

    1. or just 1 race every weekend and we flip a coin before the race to decide the grid positions…
      qualifying performance will decide who flips the coin first… xD :D

  27. I think reverse grids is simply artificial, whether it’s the entire grid or the top 10, or championship order or whatever… it just doesn’t feel right. Why should the best driver/car combinations be punished for being the best?

    Having said that, I can’t deny that it would definitely be a way of spicing up the races, as you mentioned Japan in 2005 being a perfect example.

  28. or just 1 race every weekend and we flip a coin before the race to decide the grid positions…
    and qualifying performance will decide who flips the coin first… xD :D

    1. that would make as much or maybe more sense yeah!

    2. Maybe we as well flip another coin to get the race results ! Why the need to run the cars?


  29. Lewisham Milton
    23rd February 2016, 14:47

    Reduce the disadvantage for heavier drivers by making them start in reverse height order.

  30. Frankly it would be dangerous to do. Mark Webber showed us what speed differences can do in Valencia, yet now we want to implement that during the chaos of a race start?


  31. If the idea would be to have this race instead of what we currently have, then I think its a bad idea.
    The way I think it’d for best is if you have the race weekend as normal, with normal grids, and the have a 2nd race, only worth 8 points for the win lets say, where the grid is set up in reverse championship order. I’d also give the drivers tyres that will last this 2nd race, and make this race shorter. That could make it interesting.

  32. I think it would be electrifying if we had the “normal race” and then another with reverse grid, half the distance, and with the old classification points 10-6-4-3-2-1. It would be a great show, with plenty of overtaking, crashes…
    Of course that being half distance, the points would have to be much less, so the impact on the drivers championship wouldn´t be very noticeable.

    Against: winning in F1 would become more banal, because many drivers would accomplish it

  33. Not at all for the main race. But as an extra sprint race it might work.

  34. Great to see so many closed minded people not prepared to think about how you could make a reverse grid work.

    I think a shorter reverse championship race on the Saturday that sets the grid for Sunday would be awesome. When was the last time we had an edge of the seat qualifying session? I honestly don’t remember.

    1. I remember quite a few from the last 3 years actually

    2. Probably because the inherent problems in the project prevent reverse grids from working. The true problem is the gaps between the cars, and anything that doesn’t change this will perpetuate the problem, perhaps with more window-dressing in a series already seen as over-dressed for what it is.

  35. The real problem is, Fan’s don’t know what they actually want. All the fans do know is they don’t want whatever is offered and or suggested.
    I am a huge F1 fan, but the difference is, almost every suggestion F1 presents (which subsequently gets shot down by F1 fans), I am open to the ideas normally. I am on the opinion, well what does it matter, a radical change is better than changing regulations a tiny bit (i.e. rear wing sizes) which will do little impact year on year, and then all we get is more complaining that nothing radical is being done to improve the sport.
    Lets just sit back, let the big guys decide what they see fit, and give it a try. You never know unless you try.
    Lets just have some entertainment in the races. The main problem I find, those that scream and shout about it are the big F1 fans, but in reality the sport needs to appeal to that general audience that don’t have much time for understanding what 0.001 degree change a car has had to its downforce, etc. Mix it up, make it exciting

  36. When people accepted referring to F1 as a show rather than as a sport I believe it also emphasized the change in spirit from competition to profits. These types of ideas having nothing to do with F1 fundamentals

  37. I don’t get why the powers that be can’t all see how to return F1 to where it should be. It’s quite simple in my view:

    Underbody Aero to increase downforce
    Reduce complexity of wings to lower ‘dirty air’ effect
    Grippier tyres to provide more mechanical grip
    Free to Air TV

    Then let the drivers go racing. Done.

  38. We don’t need reverse grids. I mentioned this previously on another round-up. What would be ideal is if qualifying took place on a Friday evening after a 30min warm-up. P1 and P2 then took place on the Saturday so that the teams could hone their race setup, with the race starting on Sunday as usual.

    This means that we would hopefully get more unpredictable grids like we tend to get when the weekends have been affected by the weather. It would reward adaptable drivers/teams with a good grid slot before the teams have spent 4 hours dialling their cars into the track and gives the drivers a chance to make a real difference with a quick lap in potentially difficult conditions.

    The format of the weekend would be relatively unchanged, no gimmicks required and ultimately, the quickest, best prepared team/driver combination over the whole weekend should still win the race. Just not necessarily from pole position all the time. Which is kind of what we all want in the end anyway.

    1. This is actually the most intriguing idea I’ve read so far. The teams will still tried their best and they actually can adjust their setup with the knowledge of their and their main rival starting positions, which actually could add more variations in race strategy.

  39. I sure hope not. Any sort of punishing against a good result is just awful. I hope we will never see this in F1, nor added weight for top performers.

    I would like to see one change in the format though, more option tyres for sunday. Each weekend we can see Mercedes sparing out one or two sets during the qualification, and in recent history, Ferrari or Red Bull could do the same. The result is that a lot of the lesser teams that get in to Q3 cant make any decent run at all. Qualifying should be about the fastest cars/drivers, some silly tyre rule only makes it easier for the top teams to gain a gap on everything behind.

  40. If the principle of “qualify last to start first” obviously makes no sense, reverse grids can be thought differently. For example, the grid of one event is the finishing order of the previous race, reversed. That is, unless a second “sprint” race is introduced.
    Nonetheless, I am against pretty much everything which is done for “the show”, if it goes against the sporting side of F1. I sometimes think qualifying would be enough in itself: other sports like skiing are simply time trials, who goes fastest wins. I like that in F1, also because drivers depend on machines, there is a time to be quick on a single lap and a chance to fight directly against your rivals. If you’re not the fastest, try to be the most consistent, avoid mistakes and recover. Nowadays, for the majority of teams, races are just “long qualifying sessions”, as, with mechanical failures down to minimum and car performance so different to one another, each extra lap is an extra tenth added to the winner’s margin.

  41. How can this article forget to mention that the suggestion is equal points for qualifying and race but the grid is reversed.
    Pole is stil 25 points but you start at the back. Win it and you get another 25 points.

  42. In my opinion rules should be:
    Principles F1 should follow: 1. safety 2. close racing 3. world’s fastest cars 4. efficiency 5. optimizing 1-4 points.The most fans want to see close racing among best drivers in the fastest cars. How can we solve it? This is, decision makers and engineers should work for. I think it isn’t impossible.
    Some possibilities we have to consider:
    1. Less differences between cars in total. Some teams are better in PU and others in aero but we need less differences in total. I think we should introduce +weight/point system (for example +20dkg/point or ~0,5 pound/point) because it is cheap, fast, effective solution and we don’t need unification or freeze development. Smaller teams get the same PU as manufacturers. Decrease money/revenue allocation differences.
    2. Less dirty air in corners but fast cars: more mechanical grip, less or same aero
    A, simpler front wing B, (more effective diffuser) C, better tyres D, more powerful and effective PUs (natural development) without token system E, slight changes in technical regulation year by year (differences will naturally decrease) and more freedom in development until regulations allow F, DRS? (open DRS time/race and drivers manage it) G, refuelling? (Cars can be faster and drivers could push harder during races but there would be less safety and more ’overtaking during the pit stops’) H, narrow cars
    3.Increase the importance of driver’s skills: A, drivers manage ERS instead of a program B, less radio data from engineers to drivers during races C, minimum weight for drivers (for example 80kg with ballast less or more) but no limit for cars
    And what else…?
    Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of +weight/point system in short term. (+20dkg/point, less or more)
    Advantages: 1. Less differences between cars in total and close racing. 2. Fast, cheap, simple, effective solution. 3. We don’t need unification or freeze development 4. Finally the best team wins.
    Disadvantages: 1. Unfair? I don’t think (or partly) because finally win the best and if you have the best team and car you have to work harder to remain the best.

  43. I’m thinking about the recovery drives in the last couple of years and usually they were not that exciting. I remember for example Vettel’s recovery in Abu Dhabi 2015. It wasn’t that great, honestly. Yes, he made a few overtakes, but he was so much faster than the others that it was almost impossible for him not to finish P4.
    His recovery in 2012 on the other hand was spectacular. The field was much tighter, so he was more on the edge, he made some bold moves and sometimes even mistakes.

    So I don’t think that reversing the grid will necessarily mean more excitement, the problem of the poor competition won’t disappear. Reversing the grid would be another variable. In the first few races the teams and drivers will make more mistakes, but then they will learn and the races would be as predictable as they’ve ever been.
    And besides, I love qualifying and this qualifying format, it would be a shame to lose it.

  44. Part of the problem here is Pole position is held in esteem, so using a reversed grid removes its significance, and there is a sense of “loosing face” if a driver in one of the “better teams” is eliminated in Q1 or Q2 (especially Q1), but that wouldn’t happen if you used a reversed grid. Drivers would prefer to be eliminated early so they can be closer to the front.
    For a long time I thought some sort of sprint, like the time taken to go from a standing start once around the track, should be used, so then the cars the lined up on the grid would be in order of the fastest off the line to the slowest off the line, and then during the race the drivers would sort themselves out in the order of fastest to slowest racing.
    However, that really overlooks the point that the system F1 has does mostly work, and it is what they’ve had for a long time, so why not just live with it?
    I guess one could ask “Do you actually need qualifying?”. The only reason for it really is for show, although it does have secondary reasons like the 107% rule, which, for the most part means a team that doesn’t meet that has to go and get permission to race, and as far as I can tell they usually end up racing anyway. It also lets us see the cars near there full race potential.
    However, there isn’t any reason why you couldn’t just use the previous race results as the grid for the next race. The only race which you couldn’t use that method on is the first race of the year, although it wouldn’t be hard to come up with a solution, like they could put new teams at the back of the grid.
    Again, it all hangs on the fact that what we’ve got is what we had, and it produces a result that people hold in esteem, so unless there is a real need to change it then just live with it.

    1. I agree – just use the results of the previous race which would mix things up enough without resorting to gimmicks.

  45. How did this question even come up..

    1. @Balue Ecclestone’s usual jokes to the media, of course. There’s an important F1 meeting coming up, and he’s always making ludicrous statements in the run-up to those. It’s how he negotiates.

  46. No. Hell no!

  47. No.
    I think the engine penalty system works quite well to mix it up a bit.

  48. Absolutely no!

    The fastest driver of the fastest car will surely have a ‘problem’ comes qualifying. He’ll be last, so first comes the race.

    It’s a gimmick that brings some others.

  49. A very resounding (and controversial) YES, simply because I am not under a delusion that F1 is a ‘sport’ and would like to own up to (and enjoy) what it is and not complain (and waste) all my time.
    I feel the administration needs to adapt to the requirements of the upcoming younger viewers and not just rely on decades long momentum of the traditionalist old timers. It simply won’t work out long term.
    And moreover, several ways can be figured out (through brilliant minds in and around F1) to make this system actually work. For example, distribute the points earned by team&driver combo in quali and race, differently amongst them (the team gets priority in quali and the driver in reverse grid race).
    It would also end up getting rid of DRS, designed to degrade tyres and contrived (limited) regulations.
    Above all, it is worth a try, even if it ends up failing.
    If not, viewers will eventually end up moving to something that is worth their time and money.

  50. I’m not huge on the idea of reverse grids, although I do have a little idea that I think may work.

    If we did have to completely overhaul the current qualifying system, I’d like to see qualifying replaced with a half-hour qualifying race. The cars start in reverse championship order with a rolling start, ideally with DRS disabled throughout, and the result of the qualifying race determines the grid for the Grand Prix — no points awarded either. So not a reverse grid for the main race itself — just the qualifying race. So it won’t always turn the starting order on its head — the top teams are still likely to get towards the front, and the slower teams will almost certainly drop toward the back. But it would be a bit more fun on Saturday and it would open up opportunities for a Force India, a Williams or a Toro Rosso to steal a pole position.

    Of course, this would completely devalue pole position in a historical context, and it would be just another gimmick. But if for some reason they felt the need to throw tradition in the bin again, I’d like to see that format. And I think it would be a better way of improving the show than DRS or design-to-degrade tyres.

  51. petebaldwin (@)
    23rd February 2016, 17:25

    Yet another big stride away from “SPORT” and towards “SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT”

  52. In the strategy group meeting today this idea was seemingly rejected but Bernie did threaten teams with a breakaway GP1 series.

    Not sure as of yet what that threat was aimed at, I would guess it woudl be if they failed to come up with 2017 regulations by the end of the new deadline in 1 month.

    1. Bernie did threaten teams with a breakaway GP1 series.

      Wow that I did not see coming @gt-racer! How would it work with F1?

  53. What a stupid idea.

  54. Make them qualify as normal. Then after qualifyin a dignatory can spin a wheel with four different outcomes. 1. Reverse grid. 2. Reverse championship. 3. Reverse top 10. 4. No change. Have more of the latter to enforce drivers to do a quick time. This also mixes it up each week.

  55. Here is a controversial bandaid fix….

    Leading team in WCC cannot recieve aero upgrades as long as in first place.

    Helping all others catch up.

  56. I can only put any sense into this idea if there are two races in the weekend, if that is the case I wouldn’t mind. This will never happen because the majority of F1 fans are tradition obsessed, and FOM will have to put up against this. I wouldn’t mind the idea as a fan who cares about overtaking and a good race more than anything else, having only started watching the sport five years back. Maybe a qualifying race on Saturday decided by reverse championship order, with the results of that race making the grid for the next race. This way the quicker guys will be in the middle and the race will have a nice little touch to it

  57. Steady decline of viewership would have nothing to do with putting it all behind pay walls now would it Bernie?

    Also, reverse grid idea is possibly the worst “solution” imaginable. A better solution would be Bernie going away…

  58. the only sick thing about Formula 1, that its controlled by a single greedy old person…
    otherwise its always been like that, have anyone watched races from 80ies and 90ies?
    we need CHARACTERS, like Hill/Schumacher battles, or Hakkinen/Schumacher…

    1. But they already use a kind of reverse grid: When some team has used to many PU parts, the driver is demoted. They could invent another random system to demote 1 or 2 drivers every race, and make sure everybody has been through it by the end of the year, excluding Monaco.
      And then remove DRS, to let us see drivers who has to work to make an overtake stick.

  59. Well add one more gimmick to the list, Elimination qualifying just like the mode you get in some video games-

  60. Yes, anything, please. It’s just too boring. The premise of putting the fastest car at the head of the field and then expecting something interesting to happen is bogus. Until recently I was all for the sporting purity but I just find the arrogance of F1 unappealing at the moment. Pinnacle of motorsport? I’d sooner watch BTCC.

  61. The most exciting GP2 races are often the feature races (standard grid) because the top 10 have an open tyre choice. I think we’d all be happy with that in F1, and we could get some really mixed up stuff happening in the races in that way naturally.

    GP2 sprint races can be fun but they feel diluted and cheap, esp, on tight circuits. Nate Berthon won once at Hungary and it was silly to even see him celebrate it.

  62. How about the cars reversing round the tracks & Drivers to wear clown costumes ?

  63. Cant believe they are even contemplating this! this is very bad and i worry for the future of F1

  64. I reckon they should postpone the DRS activation until the 10th lap and change its tolerances to within 3 seconds for P11 upwards and 1 second for P10 downwards. This will mean that there is proper racing up until lap 10 at which point the cars are spread out and so the introduction of DRS will bring the field back together again and let the backmarkers and lower midfield cars gain some time on the others. I know this will not prevent the dominance of few teams (Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams etc.) but it would improve the racing further down the field and give everyone something to watch when nothing is happening up front. At the moment the raving is decent until around lap 8-10 where the DRS starts to become irrelevant as everyone is already spread out.

    1. “At the moment the raving is decent until around lap 8-10”

      Meant to say “racing” not “raving”!

  65. Absolutely against this idea. The whole way the weekend works is fine and does not need to change. Practice Friday, more intense practice on Saturday (it used to be called Qualifying Practice for a reason), Grand Prix on Sunday. Simple. This is also why I am against any sort of points being awarded for anything other than the GP itself. The whole weekend builds up to the race. The race is what matters. Although it is unlikely, think of what a farce it would be if a close championship battle was decided on a Saturday. The rules should not allow that to happen.

  66. How about combine it with a double points scenario although this would take some recalculations. i.e. If only 10 cars were racing, a win from the back of the grid is worth 50 points incrementing down to a win from the front is only worth 25 points. Points would need allocating all the way down the grid though. Too complex? Just a thought.

  67. GP2 reverse grids come about from the full race, and are used for the shorter sprint races, as I recall.

    This is not a good fit for Formula 1, and using qualifying to generate a reverse grid is nonsensical.

    If you really want to shake things up, make Saturday a half-distance sprint race with Indestructable(tm) Tires (ie, no required stops), with a random grid, then use the results from Saturday to set the grid for Sunday.

    But I personally prefer the current system. It makes more sense, and makes the end of each qualifying session more exciting than the proposed elimination (or reverse grid idea) format.

    For the past few years, we’ve had consistent backmarkers of 4-6 cars that you could count on to be the ones to drop out in Q1. With the improvements Manor is showing, and Haas’s performance out of the gate, I think Q1 is going to become much, much more interesting, leading to greater use of option tires in Q1, with the faster teams trying to save their options, but risking an early exit in qualifying.

  68. I voted Yes reverse grid of last race. Why then the fastest cars has to overtake but more important they can’t use clear air to take offwhile the rest has to suffer their wake. Still the fastest car (those with good drivers anyway) will get in front but it give us a race. Or first as order of qualifier then a second race in reverse order and have 3 winners. One normal one reversed and one overal.

  69. None of the problems cited against reverse grids are actually substantial.

    1. Using banded qualifying (top 10 in last race qualify against each other for spots 11-20 in next race, last 10 qualify against each other for spots 1-10) immediately solves two of the problems. This allows you to keep qualifying and reduces the incentive for cars to intentionally slow down – you want to finish in the top 10 to get points but there is no incentive if you’re 11th to want to finish lower.

    2. The safety concerns are cited despite a complete lack of evidence. It’s the classic “oh this would never work for X reason” instinct all new ideas get met with, but we haven’t had races with banded qualifying at f1 level and until we do you can’t make concrete statements about safety, particularly when banded qualifying would reduce this problem.

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